When families encounter difficult circumstances, they look for a family law attorney with the insight and experience to help them find their best possible outcome quickly and cost-effectively. That is why so many people come to see our attorneys at the Law Offices of Frank J. Riccio. Attorneys at our firm handle numerous family law matters, and they back up that focus and dedication with excellent customer service that builds an attorney-client relationship based on trust. Here is a description of those family law terms and issues that often are encountered:
Connecticut is a no-fault state, meaning that the party who wants a divorce does not have to show a specific misbehavior on the part of the other spouse, such as adultery, abandonment, drunkenness or addiction, abuse, etc. All that is required is the presence of "irreconcilable differences" that the Court or counseling will not cure. Connecticut family law establishes the financial obligations of the divorcing parties, and finally and completely ends the legal relationship for all purposes. Property must be divided, debts assigned, and, if appropriate, spousal support determined. For parties with children, the divorce process also requires resolving parenting issues and establishing child support. Without remarriage, tax returns must now be separately filed as single or head of household (and not as married) persons.
Alimony is temporary or permanent financial support paid from one separated spouse to the other, either in one lump sum or in installments. Alimony is designed to provide the lower-income spouse with money for living expenses over and above the money provided by child support. Alimony differs from child support because it is at the discretion of the judge. Child support is determined by the State of Connecticut Child Support Guidelines.
Custody is the charge and control of a child, including the right to make all major decisions such as education, religious upbringing, training, health and welfare. Custody usually refers to a combination of physical custody and legal custody. Connecticut uses a "best interest of the child" standard in awarding custody between the parents. Sounds simple, but many factors influence an award of custody and the way a case is presented in court can have a large impact on the result for you and your children. If you are awarded the child (children) as a primary custodial parent, it has far reaching consequences both to you and to the well-being and development of your child.
Child support is a periodic payment made to a custodial parent from a non-custodial parent to help compensate a child’s living expenses, i.e. food, clothes, etc., and any other related debts. When one parent is awarded sole custody, as in the event of a divorce, the non-custodial parent is required to fulfill his or her child support obligation by making set payments, whereas the custodial parent meets his or her support obligation through the custody itself. When parents are awarded joint custody in a divorce, however, the support obligation is shared, and is based on a ratio of each parent's income, and the amount of time the child spends with each parent. The obligation to support minor children cannot be waived by either parent and is a right enjoyed by the child, not the parent. The State of Connecticut has guidelines that factor the amount of child support.
The right of a non-custodial parent to visit or spend time with his or her children is a crucial legal arrangement. The term "child visitation" refers to the time when the non-custodial parent has the right to be with the child. Child visitation can take a variety of forms or schedules. Some common arrangements include the following: Alternate weekend visitation with the non-custodial parent, including three-day holidays. Mid-week visitation with the non-custodial parent. Sharing of the child during periods of school recess: winter, spring and summer. New Year's Eve, Easter, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, Thanksgiving and Christmas with one parent or the other in alternate years. Mother's Day with Mother, Father's Day with Father. Alternate years on the child's birthday. Open telephone contact by the parent who does not have actual physical custody of the child. Exchange of a few days of visitation as mutually agreed without the need for a change or modification of the court order.
If you or someone you know in Bridgeport, CT or within the surrounding counties needs the assistance of an experienced family law attorney, please contact the attorneys at the Law Offices of Frank J. Riccio LLC, today, at (203) 333-6135.
LAW OFFICES OF FRANK J. RICCIO LLC
923 East Main Street
Bridgeport, CT 06608
Telephone: (203) 333-6135
Fax: (203) 333-6190